They Will Be Here Forever
(A Beatles Fan Fiction Story)
By: Kristi N. Zanker
"No, you can't go," my mom firmly said.
"But mom!" I protested, "I already won tickets on WLS! You have to let me go!"
"I don't want any daughter of mine to go see those four long-haired hooligans!"
"My friends' parents are letting them go. Why can't you?"
"They don't realize what could happen to their daughters. You are not going to see them and that's that!"
For the past week, my mom and I had been arguing over whether I could go see the Beatles at Comiskey Park on August 20th. That was two days away. Earlier this week, I won tickets on the radio for answering the Beatle "Question of the Day." As soon as I won, I called my best friend Pauline and told her the news. I had two best friends, but I only won two tickets. When I told Diane that I'd won, she told me that her father already bought her a ticket. I was relieved that we wouldn't have an argument. If I hadn't won the tickets, I would be babysiting the neighbor's kids for nearly a month to have $5.50, which was the amount of the tickets. Now that we all had our tickets, I needed to convince my parents that the Beatles were not 'long-haired hooligans' and find a way to get to the concert. I had a lot of thinking to do over the next two days.
My name is Natalie Hopkins, and I am 14 years old. This year I will be a sophomore at Pennington High School. My parents think I'm too young to go to a concert, but I will be turning 15 on October 9th, which is the same day John Lennon (my favorite Beatle) will turn 25. My two friends, Pauline and Diane both turned 15 in June. Pauline's favorite Beatle is Paul (partly because of her name and the fact that he was labeled as "the cute one"). Diane's favorite Beatle was also John. It seems like we left the other two out, but we really loved all four of them. As a Beatles fan, everyone had their favorite.
A year and a half ago, no one knew who these four boys from Liverpool, England were. Then, they invaded our shores on February 7th, 1964. On Sunday, February 9th, they made their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. I sat in the living room with my dinner getting cold, screaming at the television. While I screamed, my 10-year-old brother, Billy, danced around the living room to these new different sounding songs. I had never heard a sound like that before, and I liked it. When they showed each individual Beatle on the screen, right away I chose my favorite. It was John Lennon. I didn't care if the words underneath his name said, "Sorry girls, he's married." My parents came into the living room to see what all the excitement was about and shook their heads in disbelief. They did the same for a young truck driver by the name of Elvis Aron Presley in 1956. I was 8 years old then. To us teenagers, our parents were considered square and not with it.
The day before the concert, I did extra chores around the house to possibly try and convince my parents to let me go. After an exhausting day, I sat down at the dinner table and poked at my mashed potatoes, when the phone rang. My father got up to answer it. After a few seconds, he said the phone call was for me. I got up and he handed me the receiver.
He gave me a look that said, "You know we're not supposed to have phone calls during dinner" handed me the phone and sat down.
"Hello," I said into the mouthpiece.
"Hi, Natalie!" said Pauline. "Have your parents come to their senses into letting you come to the concert?"
"No, they haven't. I've tried. Anyway, we still don't have a way to get there."
"Oh, we do now! Wait until I tell you!"
My hopes began to soar, like a balloon being inflated.
Pauline continued, "My dad surprised me by buying a ticket for himself when he went to get mine. He didn't tell me that at first. But anyway, he's agreed to drive us to Comiskey Park and come to the concert with us. I hope you don't mind."
"Oh, of course not!" I exclaimed. Now I was desperate, even if a parent went along with us.
"I have an idea, how about you have your dad talk to my mom about the concert. Maybe she'll feel more comfortable now that a parent is coming with us."
"Okay, I'll get him on the line."
I told my mom that Pauline's father wanted to talk to her. She looked puzzled when I handed her the phone. I waited anxiously as I heard my mom's end of the conversation. When I heard her sigh, "Oh, all right."
I wanted to jump out of my chair and hug her.
So, it was settled. Tomorrow morning, Pauline's father will pick me up at my house and drive us to the stadium. The morning didn't seem to come fast enough, and when it finally did, I leapt out of bed and put on my outfit that I was going to where to the concert. I decided to wear my light green dress, the one with white stripes on the collar and sleeves. I found my purse and I was ready to go. Pauline's father was picking me up at noon for the 3 o'clock show. It was only eleven. My mother warned me several times during the past two hours not to talk to strangers, stay with the group, etc. You'd think I was going on a school field trip to the state penitentiary, rather than a Beatles concert. The minutes passed by slowly as I grew more and more excited. I was finally going to see my favorite group! After listening to their records nonstop, I was finally going to hear them live!
At last, I saw a green station wagon in the driveway. I hugged my mother goodbye and grabbed my purse. Pauline was sitting in front, next to her father. She wore a white dress with yellow flowers printed over it. In her hair was white head band. Her dark brown hair was always in a perfect flip. My blonde hair fell across my shoulders. I sat next to Diane, who had on a white blouse with a purple skirt.
"I'm so excited!" said Diane. "I'm finally going to see John in person!"
"I'll bet he'll look good on stage!" I said.
"Hey! Don't forget about Paul!" said Pauline.
"I think they'll all look good on stage." I said. "By the way, thank you for taking us, Mr. Silverson."
"Oh, your welcome, Natalie. It was great that your parents let you go along. You only live once."
"Oh, I definitely agree with that!" I said.
While on our way to the concert, we listened to WLS and screamed everytime a Beatles song came on the radio which was pretty often. Pauline's father did not cringe when we screamed; he had fun along with us. He even knew the words to the songs. I thought Pauline's father was the hippest parent ever, unlike mine, who seemed square and stuck in the past. When we got to the parking lot, we wanted to jump out of the car. Pauline's father parked the car, and we nearly ran to the gate to get into the stadium. We couldn't get in right away because there were a thousand other screaming girls waiting.
"Ohhh! I can't wait to get in!" squealed Pauline.
"You girls stick with me and we'll get in. Come on." said Mr. Silverson. We formed a bee-line and snaked our way through the crowd.
Finally, we got into stadium and found our seats. Since I had won tickets and Pauline's father bought two, our seats weren't together. But we soon discovered that we weren't too far apart. There were about two empty seats next to us. We were very lucky to be so close. The four of us just sat in the row, ignoring the fact that two of us were sitting in someone else's seats. While we were waiting, a girl and guy came by our row, and looked at their tickets.
"I think we're supposed to be where you are," the boy asked.
"Oh, that's okay," said Pauline, "you can sit where we were going to be."
"Gee, thanks," they said and sat down.
I struck up a conversation with the boy next to me. His hair was pretty long, almost covering his ears.
"Are you allowed to go to school with your hair that long?" I asked.
"No, I'm really not supposed to, but I do anyway. My dad always yells at me to get my hair cut; even the principal did last Friday! But I won't, I think this look is really something. Plus, my girlfriend here (he pointed to her) likes it." He gave her a smile; she smiled back.
While we were sitting there, I looked around
the stadium. I noticed police barricades surrounding the bottom of the bleachers.
Policemen were lined around the stadium. I listened to the chatter around me.
"I can't believe they have so many policemen here! I want to be able to get a close picture of them!" complained a boy.
"I can't wait until they come on stage, I know I'm going to faint. So if I do, please catch me!" screeched someone down the row.
"Do you guys want anything to eat?" asked Mr. Silverson.
"No thanks," Diane and I said.
"No thanks, Dad. I don't want to miss a minute when they come on."
The opening act started around 2:30, none of us paid attention. We only came here to see the Beatles. During the opening act, we asked Pauline's father why he liked the Beatles. He answered, "I've always liked Rock 'n' Roll. I'm not sure what you could call the Beatles music, but what I hear is a new, interesting sound. Their voices blend together well, too."
"Oh, that's so cool! My parents think they're strange looking with their long hair." I replied.
"That's nonsense!" Mr. Silverson laughed. I did too.
Diane, Pauline, Mr. Silverson and I talked about The Beatles hit movie, A Hard Days Night. We even acted out our favorite scenes. Then the moment came....
We saw the Beatles run out of the dugout, three of them with their guitars. They all wore the usual matching suits. Even though they looked alike, I could tell them apart in an instant. Plus, I knew who played which instrument. They ran to their places on stage. As soon as we saw them running to the stage, the stadium seemed to explode with screaming girls. It was so deafening around me I could barely hear what song they were playing. I could only make out snatches of a song. After listening to their records for hours instead of doing homework, I knew every little bit about every song. I heard snatches of "She's A Woman," then "I Feel Fine," and tried to sing along. During the songs, I kept on staring at John.
I liked the way he looked on stage, with his legs spread apart a little. I loved the way he moved his body every so often while he played. It was neat to see John and Paul sing together at the microphone. I liked the way Ringo bobbed his head every once in a while and kept the Beatles in rhythm. I could see them fairly clearly from where I was sitting, fourth row from the field. They stood at the pitcher's mound, making about 25,000 teenage girls' dreams come true. I looked at my friends to see how they were enjoying the concert. Diane started crying, saying that she loved the Beatles so much, and that this was the best day of her life. Pauline kept jumping up and down. Her father had to calm her down a bit. Mr. Silverson sang along to the songs that we could make out. During the song "Ticket to Ride," I saw a group of girls break through the police barricades and run towards the stage.
"Look at that! Look at that!" I screamed, nudging Pauline and everyone else to look.
I wondered what the Beatles would've done if those girls made it to the stage. Would they have stopped playing for a moment? We never found out because the police ran right after them and practically dragged them back to their seats. They looked like they wanted to kill those policemen. Other times, I saw some girls being carried out on stretchers. They couldn't handle being in the same area as the Beatles. If my mother knew that had I fainted at the concert, she would never let me out of the house! Perhaps those girls fainted to get attention. Maybe they thought the Beatles would see them and rescue them as they fell to the ground. For me, it was fine just being there. I didn't need to run to the stage and get a piece of them or faint to get attention. Just being in the same room was okay by me. I kept reminding myself that the Beatles were in the same place as me. It seemed unbelievable, but it was true. They were so handsome, and talented--nothing could ever come between them.
"You know what?" I said.
"WHAT!" They screamed above the noise.
"I think The Beatles will be here forever. I know that sounds dumb, but it could be true."
They nodded in agreement.
The Beatles closed with the song "I'm Down," a real rocking and screaming song. Paul McCartney stood at the microphone, singing in his Little Richard voice. Pauline swore she saw him look at her.
When the song was over, a golf cart came on stage, and carried the Beatles away. There were no encores. Diane started crying because John was leaving the area. I remained calm, and tried not to cry. I looked at my watch and nearly gasped. The Beatles had only been on for thirty minutes! Even if they just stood there and did nothing, I would've been happy. Even they came on for two minutes, I would be satisfied. This had been the greatest half hour of my entire life. Girls around us still screamed and cried for their idols. I had never been to a concert like this, I believed I was very lucky to see the Beatles live in person. This was a day, I will never forget, and neither will my friends.
We waited until the stadium was almost empty before the four of us walked slowly out. All that excitement had made us tired, but it was worth it. We had seen the Beatles and that was all we needed. I told my parents about the concert and they were glad I had a good time. My mother and father sat on the couch as I told them about the greatest thirty minutes of my life.
"I'm glad you had a good time," said my mother.
Then she told me a story I'll never forget.
"When I was your age, I wanted to see Frank Sinatra so bad. My parents wouldn't let me go, because I had just gotten over the measles. On the night of the concert, my parents went out to dinner and I snuck out of the house with my friends and went to the concert. My parents never found out about it."
"You snuck out of the house?" I was shocked. After what my mother said to me, I didn't think she would do something like that!
"Yes, but I guess I was a little bit overprotective of you. You're only young once."
Mr. Silverson's words rang through my mind. I thanked them again for letting me go and went to call Diane and talk to her about how John was at the concert.
Copyright © 1999 by Kristi N. Zanker
Copyright © 2011 by Kristi N. Zanke